On June 18, after 53 years as a married couple, Betty and Curtis Tarpley died from coronavirus within an hour of each other in a Texas hospital, spending their last moments together holding hands.
In a CNN report, Tim Tarpley, 52, said that his mom Betty, who was 80, had been sick for a few days when he took her to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and found out she had coronavirus.
Betty was admitted on June 9 and his 79-year-old dad was admitted on June 11.
Tarpley said his dad was in the ICU and seemed to be doing okay. The nurses were able to wheel Curtis to Betty’s ICU, so they could spend some time together.
However, Betty’s condition declined, and Tarpley said she called him and his sister, Tricia and said to them that she “was ready to go.”
It took him time to make peace with her mom’s decision.
“I just screamed ‘No!’ I was like, ‘I’ve got too much, too many other things to do in this life that I want to show you, and I’m not ready,'” Tarpley said.
The hospital staff let Tarpley and his sister visit their mom twice.
According to Tarpley, on the first visit, her mom was heavily medicated and didn’t really know that they were there.
On the next day, Tarpley stated that her mom was alert and cracking jokes, but it was clear that she was uncomfortable and doctors said Betty didn’t have much time.
Tarpley said he called his dad to update him on his mom’s declining condition and told him how much he loved him.
Soon after receiving the update from his kids, Curtis’ oxygen levels dropped.
“I really feel like he like he was fighting because he was supposed to and once he knew she wasn’t gonna make it, then he was okay with, you know, taking it to the house,” Tarpley said. “I think he fought because he thought the team needed him, but he was also tired and he was in pain.”
It happened so quickly that Tarpley and his sister unable to see their dad again.
Betty died after about 20 minutes and Curtis died about 45 minutes later.
Tarpley said that he was thankful for the hospital staff’s kindness and empathy.
Tarpley said he doesn’t know how his parents got the coronavirus, but he said he had to quarantine because he caught it from them. Tarpley added that his mom and dad had mostly been in isolation since March, but he visited them every couple of days to check-in.